Wanted: Columnists to say nice things about Donald Trump. Must be able to make cogent arguments in favor of the president-elect’s policies, appointees and statements. Experience preferred but not required.
It’s not an actual want ad, but it might as well be one. As they discovered during the long campaign season, the nation’s newspapers and major digital news sites — the dreaded mainstream media — are facing a shortage of people able, or more likely willing, to write opinion columns supportive of the president-elect.
Major newspapers, from The Washington Post to the New York Times, have struggled to find and publish pro-Trump columns for months. So have regional ones, such as the Des Moines Register and Arizona Republic, which have a long history of supporting Republican candidates.
The newspapers have plenty of conservative writers, but that’s where the problem begins. Trump, who has defied traditional left-right categories, has offered something for both liberals and conservatives to dislike. The latter never believed Trump was a true conservative; the former were revolted by his rhetoric from the start.